All week middle and high school students have been at the Robert C Byrd Institute learning the future of manufacturing with hands-on activities.
"We work with subtractive and additive manufacturing processes. We expose them to the leading technologies out there and get a sense of how things are made,” explained Eleni Hadjis, an RCBI Intern from Bridgeport.
The 3D Printing and Manufacturing Camp allowed students to use some equipment, and make items like toy planes.
"They actually got to machine their own toy planes, and 3D print, and use different machines in the shop. They got a feel for how materials and processes come together to manufacture,” said Hadjis.
Hadjis, who is majoring in Industrial Design at Virginia Tech, said the students also worked on projects were they came up with new inventions. They had to go through a process and learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
"We had speakers come in, inventors and entrepreneurs, who coached them through the process of taking an idea all the way to market. Today they're finishing up their presentations and learning more about selling their product and advertising,” Hadjis said.
On Friday, student's parents came to view those presentations and see what the students had accomplished.
Students at the camp said they had a great time, while learning a lot.
"My favorite part was probably designing and using the 3D printer,” said Othniel Populorum.
“We learned about having an idea and actually making it a reality. We learned many of the real life situations that we'll be in,” explained Billy Tobin.
Most of the students were from the North Central West Virginia area, but one came from as far away as North Carolina to attend the camp.